Waterville resident, Weldon Black, has opened his heart and home to Alvin, age 13, of Brooklyn, New York, through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program since 2016. Weldon first learned about The Fund when a local volunteer leader, Lynne Dailey, came to speak in his town. Weldon has been hosting for seven years and is looking forward to spending his second summer with Alvin later this month.
The brightest parts of Weldon’s summers are when his Fresh Air son comes to visit. During last summer’s visit, Alvin joined Weldon in mini golfing, building campfires, and kayaking on Lake Androscoggin. “I hope I’ve been able to show him everything that Maine has to offer,” Weldon said. “It’s a different way of life here.” Weldon loves being able to rediscover his home state by showing Alvin all the fun to be had outdoors.
Weldon says that being a host parent has taught him a lot. “I’ve learned to be more open and accepting of other people’s experiences and ways of life,” Weldon explained. His time with The Fresh Air Fund has been “fulfilling and fun,” and he hopes that Alvin has learned as much as he has from the experience.
Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free, enriching summer experiences and academic programs for more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income neighborhoods. Each summer, thousands of Fresh Air children visit suburban, rural, and small town communities across the East Coast and Southern Canada through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program.
To learn more about how to become a host family in North Central Maine, please call Susan Brooks at 207-453-2762 or visit www.freshair.org.